Hairy Phonological is coming soon

After 3 years of development, the program is in the final stages of testing and research with collaborating schools, and is expected to be released in Autumn 2021.

Hairy Phonological is a complete SSP program (the method recommended by the Department for Education and looked for by school inspectors), providing a teaching framework that develops phonological and phonemic awareness alongside phonic knowledge. Phonological awareness is an essential skill needed for children to succeed with phonics.

The program is a huge resource of videos, computer games, printable worksheets, card games and teacher training resources. Nessy Hairy Phonological enables whole class teaching but with an individualised approach. It includes everything needed for children to cover the UK reading curriculum from Reception to Year 1.

It is perfect for children who are not yet ready for the Nessy Reading and Spelling program.

How does it work?

  • The program is streamed online so can be used at home and school.
  • It is designed for discrete daily learning sessions.
  • It works best with touch screen devices such as tablets and smart phones, but also works with computers (Windows Mac or Google Chromebooks).
  • Every child has a unique profile. After logging in, they are automatically guided through a structured learning sequence.
  • To complete a learning objective, children are taken through a series of daily journeys, reinforcing what was learned the day before. The lesson objectives progress gradually from simple to complex.
  • Develops phonological sound (phoneme) discrimination before graphemes are introduced.
  • Children are assessed by the programme three times a year to measure progress. The assessment results set personalised learning objectives.
  • In the reporting area, teachers can see what each child is learning, monitor how much time is spent on the program and are alerted when a child is having difficulty.
  • Printable worksheets, card games and decodable books are used for direct teaching.
  • Daily, whole class, phonological building activities.
  • A weekly email report provides a snapshot of activity.


  • Decodable phonic books
  • Letter formation and fine motor development
  • 100s of printable worksheets and games
  • Help for teachers with training videos and lesson plans
  • 11 games
  • 100 learning journeys designed for daily learning sessions
  • Develops phonology
  • Systematic phonics instruction

Skills developed

  • Letter knowledge (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence (GPC))
  • Phonic knowledge (consonant and vowel digraphs)
  • Sound identity and isolation
  • Rhyming
  • High frequency exception tricky words
  • Phonemic blending
  • Segmentation
  • Onset and rime
  • Fluency (words and sentences)
  • Vocabulary and comprehension
  • Early suffixes and morphology

Scope and Sequence

  • s, a, t, p
  • i, n, m, d
  • h, e, r, c, k
  • g, o, l, f
  • u, b, j, q
  • v, x, y, z
  • Vowels and consonants
  • vc cv
  • cvc a
  • cvc i
  • cvc e
  • cvc o
  • cvc u
  • sh
  • ch
  • th
  • ck
  • ff all ll ss zz
  • Print awareness including simple sentence construction and punctuation
  • Syllables cvc-cvc
  • ccvc
  • y as i
  • ee ea
  • ay ai
  • igh ie
  • oa ow
  • oo
  • Plurals -s -es
  • Suffix -ing
  • Suffixes -y -er
  • Suffix -ed (past tense)
  • High frequency exception tricky words are introduced after lesson 6 and then interspersed throughout. Tricky words are learned a few at a time.
  • The order of learning can be customised within the admin and reporting section.
  • For more advanced phonic knowledge, children use the Nessy Reading and Spelling program which builds upon the foundation of phonological awareness and Structured Synthetic Phonics.

The importance of phonological skills and phonemic awareness

Children sometimes fail with phonics because they have advanced too rapidly and not spent enough time upon developing fluency. The Hairy Phonological program has enough intensity to advance children beyond the blending phase to automaticity. Another reason children sometimes fail with a phonic approach is when foundational phonological skills have not been fully developed – especially phonemic awareness. The Hairy Phonological program has been specifically designed to provide a strong foundation in phonology while phonic knowledge is being learned.

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What people are saying about the other Hairy Apps

“As a teacher the hairy series are of the best of the best of apps for teaching phonics (sounds of letters). Also teaches writing, blending/reading and spelling. Great graphics; simple short FUN games.”

Sharon Stuart

“As a parent with a bright 5 year old who is really struggling to read. He loves it and will happily play for half an hour.”


“My 5 yr old loves this app! she was able to do it over and over and practice as many times!”

Janette Jones

“Bought this for my 5 year old daughter to help with phonics. She quickly learnt her letter sounds and loved the animations. Best feature is that when writing letters if they are correctly or incorrectly formed a noise and animation give instant feedback. Teachers have said she has excellent handwriting for her age- she won’t listen to my advice but does follow the app, so it must be helping.”


“My son (5) loves this game. It really captures his imagination and helps him learn the phonics. The spelling and letter tracing are particularly useful for the phonics practice.”